Vegetarian Mains

Pan-Fried Plantain and Green Curry Tofu Bowls

These pan-fried plantain and green curry tofu bowls are an easy way to add variety to lunch or dinner.

These bowls were inspired by the La Original arepa from Quiero Arepas at Avanti in Denver. If you haven’t had an areapa from Quiero Arepas you are sorely missing out. Perfectly fluffy, hot arepas are stuffed with black beans, creamy avocado, cool chimichurri sauce, and sweet fried plantains. For just $9 you get all the deliciousness (and usually 2 meals-worth of food – the leftovers are just as yummy!).

But since I’m not an expert at making arepas, I wanted to take the flavors I love to a dish that’s a lunch staple in our house: grain bowls. Like the arepas, these bowls have sweetness from the pan-fried plantains along with the garlic black beans. However, to change things up I went with an Asian twist by using green curry paste and freshly grated ginger in place of the chimichurri. I also added tofu for an extra dose of protein and subbed nutty farro for the fluffy arepa.

As I always keep beans, some sort of whole grains, and veggie broth on hand, these bowls were super easy and cheap to make. I even had some green curry paste in the fridge from making this Simple Chickpea Curry with Cauliflower Rice a month or two ago. If you’re feeling more ambitious than I was, these bowls would also be delicious with the addition of roasted vegetables. For the plantains, make sure to use one that is mostly yellow (rather than all green), otherwise you’ll end up with very hard and starchy plantains.

With Thanksgiving come and gone we are now moving into my absolute favorite time of the year! I just love all the holiday decorations everywhere, drinking specialty coffee and hot chocolate drinks, watching holiday movies, and listening to Christmas music. As we had to combine Thanksgiving and Christmas while my in-laws were out, my apartment is already decked out in Christmas decorations, which made waking up this Monday morning a little more cheerful!

So here’ a toast to the holiday season!

Pan-Fried Plantain and Green Curry Tofu Bowls

These pan-fried plantain and green curry tofu bowls are an easy way to add variety to lunch or dinner.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time42 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Plantains, Tofu
Servings: 3
Author: Kelli


  • 1 package extra firm tofu drained and pressed
  • 3 tablespoons green curry paste
  • 1/2 cup Farro
  • 1.5 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 15- ounce can black beans
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 plantain peeled and sliced in ¼-inch thick pieces (you want the plantain to be mostly yellow but not too ripe)
  • 1 tablespoon canola or coconut oil
  • Salt to taste


  • Slice tofu into 6 equal slices and cover each with green curry paste. Marinate in fridge at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
  • Meanwhile, rinse and drain farro. Place in medium saucepan and add vegetable broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 30 minutes or until soft but still chewy. Drain off any excess water and set aside.
  • Next, place black beans in small saucepan over low heat. Add garlic and ginger then cover until ready to serve.
  • Heat a large pan over medium high heat. Add 1 t tablespoon canola oil. Once oil is hot, add plantain slices and sprinkle with salt. Cook for 3 minutes, then flip. Cook another 3 minutes then remove from pan and place on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil.
  • Lower heat to medium and place marinated tofu in the same pan that you just cooked the plantains. There should still be some residual oil, but if not add just ½ – 1 tsp of oil. Cook 2-3 minutes, then flip. Cook another 2-3 minutes or until both sides of tofu have browned. Set aside.
  • Finally, evenly distribute between bowls and dig in!


Nutrition for 1/4 of recipe: 363 calories, 1 g saturated fat, 49 g carbohydrate, 11 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 20 g protein

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